When should the first examination of the little kitten be done?

New household pets should be examined for the first time on the 4th or 5th day after entering the household. This allows them to acclimate to the new home and enables the new owner to observe them for any potential issues. Of course, if any problems are detected, they should consult a veterinarian immediately. If your pet has a passport with vaccinations marked, bring it along so we can determine the best health program for your kitten. It’s also good to bring a sample of their feces for parasite testing.

Why are vaccines necessary?

Small kittens are vaccinated to stimulate their immune system to produce antibodies that will protect them from various diseases. While kittens receive some antibodies from their mother’s milk, their effect is temporary. Several vaccinations are necessary for your pet to develop adequate immunity to protect them from diseases.

When does the health program for growing kittens start?

ГрижиCare for young kittens begins at around 6 weeks of age. It is desirable for them to be tested for intestinal parasites and to be dewormed if necessary. Vaccinations and examinations should start at 60 days and should be repeated after 4 weeks (at 3 months of age). During this period, it is advisable to conduct several tests for intestinal parasites.

What vaccines will my kitten receive?

The vaccination program for your pet depends on age, previous vaccinations, and the circumstances of their upbringing.

Here are some of the feline diseases against which there are vaccines:

  • Panleukopenia: characterized by high fever, vomiting, and severe diarrhea. Sometimes the disease is fatal.
  • Rhinotracheitis: highly contagious respiratory infection characterized by conjunctivitis, sneezing, and high fever.
  • Calicivirus: respiratory infection similar to rhinotracheitis. Often presents with ulcers on the tongue and refusal to eat.
  • Chlamydia: causes chronic conjunctivitis, rarely pneumonia.
  • Rabies: your kitten should be vaccinated against rabies at around 3-4 months of age. A rare side effect of the vaccine is vaccine-induced sarcoma (tumor) at the vaccination site. The vaccine is mandatory in cases where the cat goes outside the home or will travel abroad. In other cases, your veterinarian may discuss with you the application of the vaccine. However, it should be known that rabies is a fatal disease that poses a risk to human health.

Additional vaccines for specific cases:

  • Feline Leukemia Virus: Often this disease progresses latently, without symptoms. In the long term, the disease is incurable and ends fatally. A blood test is required before the vaccine. It is recommended for cats up to one year old who are at high risk of infection (especially outdoor cats). The vaccine has side effects similar to those against rabies – vaccine-induced sarcoma.
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (Feline AIDS): Recommended only for outdoor cats at increased risk of infection. It is not yet licensed in Bulgaria.

Why are intestinal parasites dangerous?

There are different types of parasites – roundworms (worms), flatworms (tapeworms), single-celled parasites (isospora, etc.). Many young kittens are infested with these parasites, but they can easily be removed if detected early. Parasites cause diarrhea, anemia, delayed growth, and even death, in more severe cases with a serious infestation. Some of the parasites can also be dangerous for humans (especially children).

What to feed a young kitten?

It’s very important to feed growing kittens with high-quality food tailored to their breed and age. Avoid table scraps, as they can cause digestive problems, and your cat may become accustomed to them (switching back to a normal diet may be difficult). Every pet should have continuous access to fresh water.

Should I neuter my pet?

Neutered animals live longer due to avoiding various sexually related diseases. If you don’t intend to breed your female cat, we recommend early spaying at around 6 months of age. Generally, your pet will have a calmer demeanor, and you’ll encounter fewer medical problems if you neuter them. Also, as a responsible pet owner, you won’t contribute to the stray animal problem on the streets, many of which are euthanized. Statistics show that the most common victims of car accidents are unneutered animals because they are more prone to wandering and seeking mates.

By visiting your veterinarian, you’ve already taken the first step toward providing a better quality of life for your pet.

Routine check-ups, annual vaccinations, regular external and internal deworming, and quality food are the things you can do to ensure you have a healthy pet at home. Prevention is much easier and much cheaper than treatment.